Keep Counting

Album Title: 
We're Animals
Band Name: 
Release Year: 

Upon hearing this album, and then doing my research on this band, I was surprised to find out that this is their 3rd official full length release. What surprised me the most was the lack of production value inherent on the record. It all sounds rather amateurish—especially the vocals. However, despite my desire to re-record everything, I gave the album the benefit of the doubt and have ended up listening to it several times.

What I find the most intriguing is the instrumentation of the album. There is a real interesting mix of guitars and synth lines. The band appears to be sans bass player, and instead fat Moog lines take the place of the bottom end. I found the tone of the synth is a nice counter point to the guitar distortion and drumming. Speaking of drumming, perhaps the reason for the vocal strangeness is that Indra, who sings the majority of the vocal lines, is also the drummer. So to keep a beat and a vocal line at the same time they shoot for something simple but awkward? who knows. Take a lesson from Phil Collins.

Numbers manage to cram a couple different styles of song-writing onto this album as well. The faster tempo tracks kept me engaged better than the down tempo songs. I find the style of playing, singing and arranging works nicely for the speedy, post-punky sorts of tunes they play. I could imagine club-goers getting really into a set of all their up-tempo stuff at a live outing.

So, the amateurism, the moody synthesizer, the vocal styling and the simple song-writing work really well for me when the song is short, fast and angular. However, We're Animals wears on me when the tempo drops, or some key ingredient gets left out for a track. This album does give me enough interest to search out their last two LPs which reportedly contain only the shorter, faster, quirkier variety of tunes. I am not going to write Numbers off completely based on this album, but they will have to really improve to make me buy the next one.

sidenote: the band has a really amusing and interesting bio on their website, check it out: numbers music dot com.